, Salem, MA

April 15, 2014

Shoplifter accused by sharp-eyed officer

By Alan Burke
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — It shows good character to always act as if people are watching. And it makes good sense, too, because they just might be.

A customer at North Street 7-Eleven learned this the hard way, according to police. At 2:09 a.m. on Monday, Patrolman Brian Benson, in his cruiser, saw Ian Monroe-Belcher shopping at the convenience store. He knew Belcher, who was “standing at the front register speaking to the clerk,” and he kept watching.

“While speaking with the clerk,” Benson wrote, “Ian began to point to items behind the counter, causing the clerk to bend over and turn his back. ... While the clerk had his back to Ian, this officer did witness Ian reach up and over the counter and take a package of cigarettes from the rack and begin to place it in his coat.”

Following “a brief investigation,” Belcher was arrested on a shoplifting charge.